So how can you have emotional reactions that don’t make sense to you, that don’t seem to be under your control? To understand this you have to understand how your brain is wired. Your brain can be divided into 3 parts.
Make a fist with your right hand, then cover your fist with your left hand.
Your left hand represents the outer layer of your brain, your cortex or your thinking brain. It is the only part of your brain that has language, the only part that makes conscious decisions, the only part that tells time. When you say that you know yourself well, this is yourself.
Your right fist represents the inner core of your brain, your limbic system or your emotional brain. Your emotional brain is just a set of memories, emotions and reactions. Since it doesn’t have language you don’t have direct knowledge or control over most of it – if you did, I would be out of business because everyone who was anxious would decide to be calm, everyone who was depressed would just decide to be happy.
The wrist of your right hand represents your brain stem or body brain. It controls basic body functions like heart rate, blood pressure and breathing. Its really important, if it stops functioning you keel over dead immediately – but it also doesn’t have language and so you don’t have direct knowledge or control over most of it. You can’t just decide to speed your heart rate up to 140 beats a minute because you are going to go jogging later.
So there is the thinking brain that you know and control and there are these two other parts where you have little direct knowledge or control. There is You and then there are these two strangers within You. Things that make sense to you – when you decide to drink a cup of coffee in the morning – are coming from your thinking brain. Things that don’t make sense to you – when you wonder why you overreact, can’t let go of things or continue to react in dysfunctional ways – aren’t coming from You, they aren’t coming from your thinking brain so they must be coming from one of the strangers inside You, your emotional and body brains.
95% of therapists practice some form of talk therapy, we are in the 5% that give you another choice.
Talk therapy works from the top down, training you to use your thinking mind to control your emotional mind. While this model works for many problems, it falls apart if you have strong emotional reactions because strong emotions pull the plug on your thinking mind.
We do the exact opposite – we work from the bottom up, helping you to identify and eliminate the root causes of your reactions to help you to:
- Heal your emotional wounds,
- Eliminate your emotional baggage
- Break through your emotional blocks